On the Road with Tin Tin ;-) i love this piece

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Living the Good Life

dated 15 May 2008
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I'm in a reflective mood today. Wow, I have time to reflect!! Must be one of those blessed days. I have a few minutes between house cleaning and lesson time with my daughter and I chose to spend it in some quiet time. Yeah, I know, as a Christian I am supposed to be doing this every day. I try. But I'm not always successful.

I am 47 years old this year and I realize I am past middle age. :-) Realized it only now. I wonder if I have lived a truly meaningful life. I have made my crucial choices and obviously, those choices have determined the course of my life. Of course there are other factors in my life not entirely dependent on my choices but God had been generous. I have my share of rains and storms in my life but as I said, God had been generous too, in many ways.

I hear many people wondering how they can raise up their children to become better or good persons. I am thankful that as early as 23 years old I came across the Bible and have taken God by His word (the Bible is His word), and after 24 years of walking with God (though not always wholeheartedly nor completely), I can say that I have truly no regrets. I believe the Bible has made me the "better" person that I had hoped to be, and thank God He's still working on me, so, I should only get even better, right? :-)

One of the guidelines in the Bible that is so easy to remember is, "love your neighbor as yourself". That actually translates to the Golden Rule: Do unto others what you want them to do unto you. Attitude-wise that would be, "I will be nice to you and hope that you will be nice to me in return."
Usually, it works. But sometimes it doesn't. Even then, though there are people out there who take advantage of the niceness of others, I thank God that He is there to make sure that that doesn't shortchange me. In the end, He will still make sure it was worth my while being nice, by faith. Meaning, I decided to be nice to others trusting God that if the persons who are recipients of my niceness don't reciprocate, somehow, God will bring other people or circumstances in my life resulting in me receiving niceness as well. And if it doesn't happen in this life God will always make sure I will receive my reward in the next life. Neat, hu?

And God's "law" on generosity goes a long way and permeates through all the facets of our lives. I love how the Golden Rule is expressed by Jesus in this passage:

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Luke 6
27 "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

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Some people would think Christians are easy suckers if they truly practice these words of Jesus. Ha! ha! There are other passages in the Bible that temper the above message. Passages that teach that we should "love with wisdom" and "be gentle as doves but shrewd like serpents," are two I can think of offhand.
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So, how do we live a good life? By acquiring nice things, like the picture-perfect country cottage above? Hmmm, I picture it would be nice to live in a home like that. But we all know, life is more than food and drink and clothes to wear, and cars to drive and homes to live in and holidays to enjoy. When all has been said and done, a good life is a life of peace deep within our hearts, of good relationships, and a life full of meaning, a life well-lived. And to attain such a life I think Jesus' words on generosity above is truly The Guideline I would recommend to anyone. It really works. It goes back to you a thousandfold.

For truly, what use it is if I call Him Lord without following His word? Making Him Lord of my Life is what constitutes a good life. The woes and storms of life may threaten, harass and batter us but when our lives are built on the rock-solid word of God we survive through all the harshness of life, and flourish, too, in the end.

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Luke 6
46"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? 47I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."

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Indeed, I agree with King David who prophetically wrote that there is no heritage like God Himself:

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Psalm 16
4 The sorrows of those will increase
who run after other gods.
I will not pour out their libations of blood
or take up their names on my lips.
5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
.
.
.
11 You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.


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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D